The man accused of holding customers hostage inside a Trader Joe’s this summer will be allowed to represent himself on murder and other charges, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Gene Evin Atkins, who is accused of engaging in a gun battle with Los Angeles police that ended with the shooting death of a Trader Joe’s manager, faces 51 criminal counts, including murder, attempted murder of a peace officer and kidnapping.
Atkins, 28, made the request during a court hearing after interrupting his court-appointed attorney to address Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gustavo N. Sztraicher.
“Your honor, I would like to fire my attorney,” he said. “I would like to go pro per.”
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